Every Tuesday and Thursday for the next 4 weeks Caveball will sort out the 8 tiers for all 8 Fantasy positions. The following week at the end of February we will release our unique “Chartfelt Tiers”, the ultimate Cheat-sheet for Fantasy Baseball – unique because it allows you to easily cross-reference players in different positions who have similar value.
During that same week we will offer up our General Draft Strategy, which will then be followed by a specific strategy for 2015, which you can use in tandem with our “Chartfelt Tiers”.
We continue now with one of the most shallow positions for 2015 – Shortstops:
Tier #1 – The Alpha Wolves (Level 1)
This tier includes all shortstops ranked in the top 24 players overall. For a 12-team snake draft this covers rounds 1 and 2.
- There are no shortstops in this tier
Tier #2 – The Alpha Wolves (Level 2)
This tier includes all shortstops ranked from 25-48 overall. For a 12-team snake draft this covers rounds 3 and 4.
- Troy Tulowitzki - Perennial injuries take the otherwise elite Tulo out of the top 2 rounds – Needs an Utley-like comeback from career full of health issues. No longer worth the risk
Tier #3 – The Beta Wolves (Level 1)
This tier includes all shortstops ranked from 49-84 overall. For a 12-team snake draft this covers rounds 5, 6 and 7.
- Ian Desmond – Most consistent and injury-free choice amongst the top 4 tiers.
- Hanley Ramirez - Can Papi and Panda calm the talented malcontent?
- Jose Reyes - 31 yr. old may still have a 100 R /30 SB season with Jay’s line-up
- Jimmy Rollins - L.A.’s smog/line-up should breathe new life into veteran
Tier #4 – The Beta Wolves (Level 2)
This tier includes all shortstops ranked from 85 to 132 overall. For 12-team leagues this covers rounds 7-11 inclusive.
- Starlin Castro - Baez hype makes “old news” 25 yr. old undervalued
- Xander Bogaerts - Will the talent blossom this year? Yes
- Alexei Ramirez - 2014 season is an exact replica of 2011 – steady & healthy
- Ben Zobrist - Team-wide slump in 2014 indicates a bounce-back year
Tier #5 – The Gamma Wolves (Level 1)
This tier includes all shortstops ranked from 133 to 192 overall. For 12-team leagues this covers rounds 12-16 inclusive.
- Elvis Andrus - Rich man’s version of Segura, without the upside
- Eric Aybar - Higher position in line-up would boost counting stats
- Danny Santana - Minor league stats show he may be overvalued in 2015
- Jean Segura - Sophomore slump on and off field is over – comeback time
- Javier Baez - 22 yr. old might still need a year, like Bogaerts last year
- Alcides Escobar - Last year should prove to be the 28 yr old’s ceiling
- Jhonny Peralta - Peralta perennially undervalued – ho hum power source
Tier #6 – The Gamma Wolves (Level 2)
This tier includes all shortstops ranked from 193 to 240 overall. For 12-team leagues this covers rounds 17-20 inclusive.
- Chris Owings - Shoulder injury/surgery keeps him undervalued (sleeper)
- Jedd Lowrie - Could have impact on rising Astro offence
- Justin Turner – Great second half may merit more at bats for 30 yr. old
- J. J. Hardy - Jeckyl and Hyde from year to year (10 HR or 30?)
- Asdrubal Cabrera - Secure starting position with Rays now that Zobrist and Escobar have been traded, but his stats have steadily declined since 2011
- Jung Ho Kang - Korean mystery man had 40 HR and 117 RBI in the same number of games in the Korean league. How exactly this will translate in the MLB is anyone’s guess, but there are not very many power shortstops out there. Even if the Majors cut his numbers in half, he would still be a decent pick. However, he still must compete for a full-time position. (Sleeper)
Tier #7 – The Omega Wolves (Level 1)
This tier includes all shortstops ranked from 241 to 276 overall. For 12-team leagues this covers rounds 21-23 inclusive.
- Andrelton Simmons - Stellar defence provides opportunity for his offence to improve
- Stephen Drew - Signed with Yanks, but has to compete with Gregorius
- Brad Miller - Strong September slowed sophomore slump for 25 yr old
- Brock Holt – Broad versatility does not guarantee playing time in Beantown
Tier #8 – The Omega Wolves (Level 2)
This tier includes all shortstops ranked lower than 276 overall who have a chance to crack the top 300. For a 12-team league this covers rounds 24 and higher.
- Josh Rutledge – Improved chances of starting with Beckham departure
- Didi Gregorius - Decreased chances of starting with Drew signing
- Jonathan Villar – Decreased chances of starting with Lowrie signing
- Jordy Mercer - Decreased chances of starting with Kang signing
- Everth Cabrera – Speed is no good without a bat
- Jose Ramirez - Ditto
- Zach Cozart - A .568 OPS usually requires speed to be tolerated in the Majors